Christmas is all about tradition, the old and the new. Each family have their own traditions, their own way of doing things, and as I get older I look forward to starting my own! One that I’ve begun to pursue in recent years is collecting my own Christmas tree ornaments from my travels.
Yes, to have a set is lovely, and yes, it’s very coordinated (and much easier to source); but I love my collection for it’s quirkiness and because each one has it’s own memory. You see every time I go away, rather than a keyring or fridge magnet, I get new Christmas tree ornaments and personally I think this is way more fun!
I love to try and look for something a bit different, something not mass produced – where I can. It means that when I am decorating my tree, with each of the Christmas decorations I put up, I am transported back to the place it came from. Now it is still in it’s early stages, but here are my favourites so far:
Black Forest Christmas markets – Germany
Not only is this a beautiful ornament, but it is the one that sparked the inspiration. The “face that launched a thousand ships”, if you will. Back in 2015 Dad took Mum to Germany for the ultimate Christmas market experience. While they were there, Mum found this gem, and brought one for each of us ‘so we could start our own collection’.
New York City – USA
I loved the idea of a travel inspired Christmas collection so much that when I went to New York in 2016, I couldn’t resist this one. Who cares that it was only June?! It’s never too early for a bit of Christmas cheer! Of course I had to bring one back for Mum too!
Torquay – England
For Mum’s birthday in 2016 we were down in Torquay, Devon. Just outside the town is a Manor House called Cockington Park, where they run a craft centre. The old stables have been transformed into a workshop for blowing glass; where I picked up this beauty!
Edinburgh – Scotland
What I love about this one, is that it’s just a bit wacky, yet is still traditional. I picked this one up on a girls trip to this gorgeous city. The wire ball is filled with slices of dried orange, pine cones and cinnamon… the perfect Christmas cocktail. Even 2 years on it still smells amazing!
Disneyland Paris – France
My sister Em brought this back for me from her holiday to Disneyland Paris. Lady and the Tramp was my favourite Disney film growing up, it was so sweet of her to remember. I j’adore this bauble!
Valencia – Spain
Catching the last of the winter sun, and drinking sangria by the beach… in November! What a wonderful few days on my first trip to Spain! Walking around a Christmas market in nothing but my T-shirt and skirt felt a little bizarre, but I’m not complaining. The delicate arches always catch the light, like the sun dancing on the sea, just mesmerising.
Geneva – Switzerland
This is such a lovely reminder of my first trip with my boyfriend. We picked Geneva on a whim, because it looked stunning, nestled in between the mountains. What drew me to this one was it’s simplicity. No glitz, or sparkle, just elegant crafting… and it even survived the flight home!
Bourton-on-the-Water – Cotswolds, England
This is my newest addition, from when my sisters and I managed to sneak in a little trip to the Cotswolds just before lockdown 2.0. The Cotswolds are the largest area of Outstanding Beauty in England; and its easy to see why. While we were there we visited Bourton-on-the-Water, it’s a beautiful village in it’s own right, but particularly special to us. This is where our Nanny was evacuated to during the war. It was amazing to see it, and it’s barely changed! They even had a Victorian Christmas Shop, so it would’ve been rude not to!
In 2021, I’m so looking forward to getting back to the Christmas markets, and enjoying everything they have to offer, and making more memories along the way! I can’t wait to show you how my collection of Christmas tree ornaments expands over time. Who knows, by next Christmas I might have a couple more to showcase?
Love, Jess x
To read our Christmas Movie Countdown post, click here: https://www.emgoingplaces.com/2020/12/ultimate-christmas-movie-countdown-for-2020/